Emmylou Harris (born April 2, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and has won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. (wikipedia)
Her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers’ works, a singer-songwriter, and a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists.
12-time Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, gained admiration as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Few in pop or country music have achieved such honesty or revealed such maturity in their writing.
In this 2000 concert, Emmylou Harris combined tasteful choices from her early repertoire with newer work, often her own compositions, backed by the band she called Spyboy, which featured the hard-working guitarist and singer Buddy Miller.
Harris came as an emissary to commercial country from the 1960’s folk and rock toward which Nashville mavericks were already leaning. With her dark, natural, hippie-ish beauty, her ethereally powerful soprano, and her fascination with the grittier roots of country music, Harris broke molds established for both women and new artists in Nashville country. With the Hot Band, she brought virtuoso rock-influenced chops to country picking and helped introduce a new audience of young, college-radio fans not only to her own take on country, and to the rock-friendly work of songwriters like Rodney Crowell, but also to the virtues of great artists like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, the Louvin Brothers, and Dolly Parton.
She sings some of those early album favorites here: Crowell’s “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Gram Parsons and Chris Hillmans’ “Wheels,” and Parsons and Bob Buchanan’s beautiful “Hickory Wind.” Combined with classic songs like the Louvins “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” which gave her a top-five country hit, Harris quickly established herself as a new kind of country artist, with both radio-single and album-oriented appeal. She had number-one country hits with the chestnuts “Together Again” and “Sweet Dreams,” and her second album on Reprise, “Elite Hotel,” reached number one on the country album charts while also finding its way into many college record collections. Later albums in the vein, including “Luxury Liner” and “Blue Kentucky Girl” established Harris as a crossover star.
In 1980, she made further innovations, releasing a bluegrass album, “Roses in the Snow,” which was distinguished by placing her characteristic solo and harmony singing in bluegrass arrangements and bringing new listeners to country’s acoustic forms. For the rest of her career, Harris would remain an important exponent of older and more traditional styles in country music.
Yet this 2000 concert finds her in what was then yet another new mode. In the early 1990’s her commercial radio success had diminished, in part, and ironically, because of the rise of “new traditionalist” artists whom she’d played a strong part in influencing. Harris became a trademark of country authenticity, appearing on albums by Steve Earle and other innovators with deep respect for bluegrass and classic country. In 1995 she released the album “Wrecking Ball,” launching Spyboy as a touring band with Buddy Miller and moving fairly assertively away from traditional country, with songs like “Deeper Well,” featured here. The 2000 follow-up “Red Dirt Girl,” widely acclaimed, featured Harris’s own songs, many of them also heard here.
“Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few left as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of “cosmic American music” passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young – not surprisingly an occasional collaborator – no other mainstream star established a similarly large body of work as consistently iconoclastic, eclectic, or daring; even more than four decades into her career, Harris’ latter-day music remained as heartfelt, visionary, and vital as her earliest recordings.” (William Hoghland)
Recorded live in Baden-Baden, Germany on October 31, 2000.
01. The Pearl (Harris) 5.22
02. I Don’t Wanna Talk About It Now (Cunniff/Harris/Johnson) 4.46
03. I Ain’t Living Long Like This (Crowell) 4.19
04. Raise The Dead (Harris) 3.27
05. Red Dirt Girl (Harris) 4.50
06. Love Hurts (Bryant) 3.00
07. Hour Of Gold (Harris) 5.00
08. Deeper Well (Harris/Lanois/Olney) 6.22
09. Michaelangelo (Harris) 4.50
10. Boy From Tupelo (Harris) 3.34
11. Wheels (Hillman/Parsons) 3.11
12. Born To Run (Kennerley) 4.45
13. Hickory Wind (Buchanan/Parsons) 4.55